n Selma Ikela
WINDHOEK – Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) leader McHenry Venaani is disheartened by what he says is the ‘refusal’ by President Hage Geingob to have a consultative meeting, where the two could exchange views on some of the most contentious issues that have engulfed the country.
Venaani who said he had written about four letters to the President without receiving any reply, said it is wrong for Geingob to let him wait for three years and he feels Geingob should apologise for giving him a cold-shoulder.
Although Geingob responded to one of his several letters, Venaani says he is appalled the president responded to him through an open letter that Geingob sent to one of the newspapers, that the PDM leader read by chance.
Venaani made these comments during a recent meeting with a delegation from United States of America, through the United Nation, where he had to give his perspective of key political and socio-economic issues facing Namibia.
Venaani said, “In our own country, there has been a tug of war between the President of the Republic and I. I have written a letter to him in 2015, to ask for a meeting as a leader of the opposition but the letter is always denied. Every year, I hear stories. He doesn’t want me to see him, these are signs of the erosion of our democracy.”
“I think he must apologise. By any democratic standards, if there is one person Geingob should meet, it is myself because of the position I hold in the country. He is a product of democracy. I am also a product of democracy. I was brought here by voters, he must recognise the second-best votes must be consulted, “remarked Venaani while adding that Geingob should not be consulting other small opposition parties in the country but PDM.
Efforts to get comment from Presidential Press Secretary Dr Alfredo Hengari failed. Though he had confirmed receipt of the questions, he did not respond to them as promised by Friday.
Venaani explained he has been invited to State House but only for State banquets and events but not consultative meetings.
He says he wants to have periodic meetings with Geingob and discuss issues of housing, crisis in the country and rental that is spiralling out of control.
Venaani thinks the president does not have personal problem with him but termed what he is doing as political marginalisation, where he wants to supress him because they probably see him as the only person who can challenge the president or threat to the country by trying to deny him meetings.
Caption (Venaani): Popular Democratic Movement leader McHenry Venaani is disheartened by what he says is the ‘refusal’ by President Hage Geingob to have a consultative meeting with him.